K. Iwasawa, T. Yaqoob, H. Awaki and Y. Ogasaka
We report preliminary results of an ASCA observation of the Seyfert 2 galaxy Markarian 3 (Mkn 3). Comparison with previous Ginga and Broad-Band X-ray Telescope (BBXRT) observations shows that the observed hard X-ray luminosity above 4 keV decreased by a factor of approximately 3 (intrinsic luminosity by almost a factor of 6) in a period of approximately 3.6 yr. On the other hand, the soft luminosity has not varied significantly in approximately 13 yr, lending support to the extended nature of the soft emission, perhaps dominated by scattering of the nuclear X-rays. ASCA resolves the Fe K line emission into at least two components for the first time. The dominant component at 6.4 keV has an equivalent width of approximately 860 eV and full width at half maximum (FWHM) approximately equals 104 km/sec, while the second component has an equivalent width of approximately 190 eV and appears to be narrower than the first. The total intensity of the Fe K emission decreased by factor of over 3 in response to the decrease in the continuum level, implying that a substantial part of the dominant Fe K emission must originate in a region smaller than that responsible for the soft emission. The variability provides direct evidence that the hard X-ray continuum and Fe K line in this Seyfert 2 are being observed directly through the nuclear obscuring material, not in scattered light.